Teaser Vid Heralds a New Mazda 3 and a New Way to Burn Gasoline

teaser vid heralds a new mazda 3 em and em a new way to burn gasoline

“A new era begins” in November, Mazda’s YouTube video announces, but the automaker is likely referring to more than just the car seen in the teaser.

The next-generation Mazda 3, snippets of which can be seen in both hatchback and sedan form, will be joined by a new gasoline engine that’s far more monumental than any revamped compact car.

As you can see from the link, there’s not to actually see, though the hatch’s severely sloped rear calls to mind the brand’s Kai concept, released last year. It was assumed at the time that the Kai would serve as inspiration for the 2019 Mazda 3. In the video’s side-on peek, the new vehicle’s flanks appear not quite as featureless; however, it’s clear the highly accentuated fender bulges of years past will soon be a thing of the past.

The date listed in the video points to a product unveiling at next month’s L.A. Auto Show, so that’s something to look forward to. This author, as well as other TTACers, remain fans of the current-gen 3 — specifically the 2.5-liter/six-speed GT version. It’s a fun little front-driver that enthusiastically and capably eats up twisty back roads, and its KODO design language earns two thumbs way up.

Whatever the 2019 model’s looks, the most radical change will lie under the hood. The new 3 serves as the first application of Mazda’s Spark Controlled Combustion Ignition (SPCCI) engine — a high-compression 2.0-liter four-cylinder that blends characteristics of both gasoline spark ignition and diesel compression ignition for greater efficiency and power.

To overcome inherent problems with gasoline compression ignition (temperature-related pre-ignition or lack of any ignition), Mazda kept a source of spark in the combustion chamber. It calls the new mill the Skyactiv-X.

Located in close proximity to the injector, the spark plug ignites only a small burst of fuel injected near the end of the compression stroke, right as the piston reaches the top of its travel. The resulting burn from this small, localized charge increases pressure in the cylinder, resulting in the combustion ignition of a pre-existing fuel-air mix that wasn’t concentrated enough to ignite on its own. This leads to a more diesel-like power signature and greater fuel efficiency.

Despite having a plan for electrification, Mazda remains of the few automakers without a hybrid or electric vehicle in its lineup. The investment in SPCCI was seen as a way of lengthening the gasoline engine’s lifespan while also making nice with the EPA. Assuming Mazda worked out all the bugs, the new tech stands to create a cheaper and less complex high-MPG vehicle.

[Images: Mazda/ YouTube]

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  • Rocketrodeo Rocketrodeo on Oct 18, 2018

    Engine tech reminds me a little of Honda's stratified charge CVCC engines. That was clean, efficient, no-catalytic-converter-needed wonder technology for the otherwise malaise-ish 1970s. Wonder why Honda never followed up on those.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 22, 2018

    I certainly hope we get an electric Mazda with rotary range extender. Great application for a smooth, compact rotary. Of course, rotaries are neither clean-burning nor fuel-efficient, so the car would be green only on battery power, so hopefully they could wedge enough battery in there for 70-150 miles on EV.

  • 2ACL What tickles me is that the Bronco looks the business with virtually none of the black plastic cladding many less capable crossovers use.
  • IBx1 For all this time with the hellcat engine, everything they made was pathetic automatic scum save for the Challenger. A manual Durango, Grand Cherokee, Charger, 300C, et al would have been the real last gasp for driving enthusiasts. As it is, the party is long over.
  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.